It’s a Small World After All
As I was looking through the file of Ken Smith, former director of the Hall of Fame, I came across a letter written on March 8, 1983. It originally caught my eye because the letterhead said “Baseball Canada.” Since I’m Canadian, actually dual citizen since March 2011, it naturally piqued my interest.
I looked at the author’s signature and could not believe what I saw. It was written by Paul E. Lavigne, executive director of the Canadian Federation of Amateur Baseball. That’s my uncle. I was speechless – which doesn’t happen much, just ask anyone.
My uncle was with Baseball Canada from about the mid-1970s until the mid-1980s. It brought back so many memories of his stopping by the house and telling us stories of what he was doing or who he had met. I remember him giving us little gifts with the Baseball Canada logo on them. Of course as a self-centered teenager, I smiled and nodded and thanked him for the gifts, but really did not understand exactly what he did. I really didn’t like baseball.
A few years back, as I was looking through a few photo files in our archives, I came across a black-and-white photo of him. He was with three other men, two of whom I think were ballplayers. They were to play in a tournament in Nicaragua in November 1977 and were preparing a trip to Cuba to practice for that tournament. When I saw him in that photo, I was floored.
Now, as I look at this letter, it makes me smile and I think that perhaps “Mon Oncle Paulo,” as we called him, is smiling down on me and happy to see that I, too, am working in baseball.
Claudette Scrafford is the Manuscript Archivist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum